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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fears of growing violence in Pakistan

Multiple explosions across Pakistan have led to concern over increasing violence in the country. At least 115 people are believed to have been  killed and 270 injured in bomb blasts in the cities of Quetta  Mingora and Karachi, with the attacks predominantly aimed at members of the Muslim Shi’ite sect.  A spokesman for the international NGO, Human Rights Watch, expressed concern today that after over 400 deaths last year due to sectarian violence, the situation in Pakistan may be worsening. Shi’ite have leaders also voiced their opinions, calling on the government to do more to protect members of the sect. The explosions occurred against a backdrop of increasing diplomatic tension between Pakistan and its neighbor India, with at least three soldiers having been killed in skirmishes in the disputed territory of Kashmir over the past week.

France Intervenes in Mali

French President Francois Hollande said today that France is ready to intervene in Mali, to halt the advance of al-Quada-linked insurgents moving towards the capital, Bamako. After an appeal by Mali’s interim president Dioncounda Traore, France has agreed to increase assistance to its former colony and according to a Mali official, has promised to deploy French air force planes to back Mali’s army. Al-Quada linked rebels have controlled the north of the country since March last year. The rebels recently began an advance towards Bamako, capturing the key strategic city of Konna yesterday. A United Nations security council resolution had been passed, allowing for possible military intervention in Mali in September this year, but the U.N. expressed greater urgency today, calling for “rapid deployment” of an African-led force to the west African country.

Savile Report Published

A joint report by London’s Metropolitan Police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) was published today, detailing 50 years of allegations against the celebrity, who died in October last year. The thirty page document shows 214 crimes were recorded between 1955 and 2009, almost three quarters of which were against minors. The Crown Prosecution Service also published a review of its decision not to charge Savile in relation to four complaints made to police 2009.

Californian Teacher Prevents Shooting

A teacher at a Californian High School has been singled out for praise after successfully negotiating with a gunman. The teacher and a campus supervisor at Taft Union High School, central California, are reported to have persuaded an armed intruder into putting down his weapons, after the gunman had already shot and injured one student. The shooter, who has not been named, is believed to be a student at the school and had come equipped with sufficient ammunition to have killed many people. This latest incident comes at a time of intense debate over gun laws in the U.S. On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced he would deliver new policy proposals to President Barack Obama early next week.

Weekend Read

Ever wondered what it would be like to work with Lindsey Lohan? After writing and directing 40 films, including ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Taxi Driver’, veteran movie maker Paul Schrader thought he could handle the challenge… in The New York Times

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